I'm getting really bad at remembering what happened during the week which I think is a sign that I need to write in my journal more just like President told me to do.
On Tuesday, our companionship did exchanges. Sister Nhem went with the Branch 1 sisters for the day and left me and Sister Semones to cover Branch 1 and 2. I was a little nervous, not gonna lie, because we are both pretty new to this whole Cambodia thing and aren't exactly fluent. But we were way pumped! Well, most of our appointments fell through except for our investigator Bong Thaa. We taught about fasting and tithing and were feeling pretty good because she understood everything and was way willing to follow both commandments! And then while we were teaching her how to fill out the slip, she stopped us and started talking about literally every single problem she had especially with her husband. So we sat and concentrated really hard on what she was saying and then I started crying a little because she has so many trials, but through everything she always remembers that God can and will help her. She told us every time she got really angry or frustrated she would go and say a prayer. I was incredibly touched by the amount of faith she has. These people have so much faith and desire to follow Jesus Christ because they want so much to have happiness in their lives. They are incredible examples to me and I will never be able to compare to them. Anyway, by the end of Tuesday, Sister Semones and I were pooped because we basically just contacted the entire day. It was way fun but made me really grateful to have Sister Nhem to help lead and guide. Basically everyone we contacted that day told us they couldn't understand us which is probably true half the time but also mostly just because we look foreign and they don't want to have to put in the effort to try and understand us.
On Wednesday, we harvested some more rice fields! Service is literally my favorite because physical labor is probably one of the only useful things I know how to do and allows me to physically see the fruits of my labor because sometimes with teaching, it gets hard. Harvesting is always a fun time and the family always feeds us delicious foods afterwards so we always leave super happy.
Wednesday night, we got a call from the Elders in our branch telling us that we were having Branch Council the next day and that the Branch President was going to come. We were way stoked because this guy's super inactive and the branch hasn't had a Branch Council in 5ever. I thought it to be a miracle! So the next day, we show up for Branch Council, and we all sat down and waited for the Branch President. One hour later, and he still hadn't shown. Turns out, he was going to Siem Riep the next day and couldn't come to the meeting. And thus goes Kampong Cham. I only hear negative things about this place and it's a bummer. But I was reading in the New Testament somewhere and Jesus is talking to His disciples after they've had a long day of fishing and have caught nothing. They get super bummed but then, He tells them to cast their nets in one more time and they're all like, we havent caught anything all day why would we catch any now? And then He's like just do it. SO they do and catch so much fish that their boat starts sinking because it's so heavy. And they just cry because they can't believe they doubted Him. Anyway, I really took that story to heart because all I hear is "oh KPC is so hard. No one wants to learn. Every one is less-active" and sometimes, it's hard to not think like that too, but then I remember that The Lord will provide a way. All He's asking for us to do is to not give up and to trust Him when He tells us that they are people out there that want to learn, keep trying. I think when I remember that, it's a lot easier to feel optimistic and to go about this work with joy!
Friday, Sister Harris and Sister Young came down for exchanges. I was with Sister Harris for the first half of the day, and we didn't have enough bikes so we were just doping each other around the whole day which sucks when your bike is literal garbage. But it was way fun because she gave me so much helpful advice and really pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to teach. I loved it because sometimes, I have trouble being able to teach just because I'm in a trio and I'm so new I feel like I don't have anything important to say. But Sister Harris told me that the best time to plant my tree, besides 20 years ago, is now! AKA it's never too late to start teaching. Funny story, we went to pick up Om Cianthaan for a lesson and Sister Harris borrowed her bike and doped her. Om fell off her bike when we stopped and peed her pants right then and there. She wasn't even phased. It was hilarious.
Yesterday, we contacted one of the referrals the Elders gave us. She's this cute old lady who in interested in learning because she saw how much her mom loved Jesus Christ and wanted to know why. We sat down and taught her the first lesson and it was awesome! She's way cute and so genuine and really wants to learn. She even accepted baptism and we are going back to teach her on Thursday!! After the lesson, we went contacting and ended up contacting this old old Om outside of her house. She wasn't interested, but after we were done talking to her, her neighbor, a Lookpuu came over and asked what we were doing. We told him that we are missionaries and then he walked back into his house and we thought he was just walking away. But then he waved us over and pulled out three chairs for us to sit down. We were so shocked and he said he was super interested in learning. But it turns out he doesn't have a family so we can't teach him and have to hand him over to the Elders. I'm way excited about this one though!
This was a super good week with a lot of learning experiences and many miracles with the gift of tongues. Like always but especially this week, I am reminded of my purpose here. It's to completely forget about myself and to help others come unto Christ. Because this gospel is a gospel where we take what we are given and learn in joy not in sorrow. We rejoice because we know that even though today was hard, the Savior can and will help us overcome it. And that through the Atonement, we can look forward to better days. I love this work! And I sure do love my God! I love you all and hope you take this new year as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with God even more!
Picture 1 Pday last week hot pot and sushi buffet in the city #blest
Picture 2 By the Mekong River right over the bamboo bridge!
Picture 3 Full-time missionary, Part-time Balloon animal artist
Picture 4 Sister Nhem's graduation last week